Gum grafts can be used to cover roots or develop gum tissue where absent due to excessive gingival recession. During gum graft surgery, your periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done for one tooth or several teeth to even your gum line and reduce sensitivity.
Gum recession causes
dentists frequently recommends soft tissue grafting when the gums have pulled away from a tooth or several teeth, receding so far that the roots are exposed. This recession can cause severe dental sensitivity and lead to other serious oral health conditions, such as tooth loss, bone degeneration, and jawbone deterioration. Gum recession is typically caused by oral health concerns and other factors such as:
- Periodontal disease
- Aggressive over-brushing
- Naturally thin gum tissue
- Genetic predisposition
- The natural aging process
Reasons for gum grafting
Gum grafting is a common periodontal procedure. Though the name might sound frightening, the procedure is commonly performed with excellent results. Here are some of the major benefits associated with gum grafting:
- Reduced sensitivity– When the tooth root becomes exposed, eating or drinking hot or cold foods can cause extreme sensitivity to the teeth. Gum grafting surgery permanently covers the exposed root, helps reduce discomfort, and restores the good health of the gums.
- Improved appearance– Periodontal disease is characterized by gum recession and inflammation. Gum recession and root exposure can make the teeth look longer than normal and the smile to appear “toothy.” Gum grafting can make the teeth look shorter, more symmetrical and generally more pleasing to look at. In addition, adjacent tissue can be enhanced and augmented during the procedure for aesthetic purposes.
- Improved gum health– Periodontal disease can progress and destroy gum tissue very rapidly. If left untreated, a large amount of gum tissue can be lost in a short period of time. Gum grafting can help halt tissue and bone loss; preventing further problems and protecting exposed roots from further decay.
What should you expect from gum graft surgery?
Gum recession is one of the most common oral issues people face as they age, although it can happen for a variety of reasons and at any age. Regardless of the reason, if you are experiencing gum recession, you will want to correct the issue as soon as possible. Doing so will not only improve your smile, it will also improve your oral health.
Initially, your gums will need to be properly assessed by a periodontist. If you have signs of active gum disease, you will require treatment to restore gum health. Afterward, your periodontist can discuss suitable types of gum grafting surgery. There are several different types of gum grafts, depending on your specific needs. Your options can include:
An allograft is an artificial gum tissue graft which is highly effective. Our dentist will place the artificial graft, which is like a matrix, into the area that needs repairing. The matrix creates a strong biological framework that enables the gums to begin repairing themselves by promoting the growth of brand new tissue cells. This is because the matrix contains sophisticated growth agents that draw stem cells from the bone marrow to the graft site, creating the right environment for tissue regeneration.
The regeneration process restores the tissue to its original condition, so it functions and feels like proper gum tissue, and has the full elasticity and resilience associated with healthy tissue. This is quite different from scar tissue created in response to an injury, which does not have the appearance and elasticity associated with normal tissue. As the new gum tissue grows, the original matrix is gradually absorbed into the gums, becoming part of the newly created tissue.
This is most widely used graft as the results and success rates are very good. Unlike the other gum grafts listed below, there is no need to take tissue from another area in your mouth.
Connective Tissue Graft
Connective tissue graft is used to treat exposed tooth roots. During this gum surgery procedure, a small flap is cut into the roof of your mouth, so some of the tissue underneath the top layer can be removed. This tissue is called subepithelial connective tissue and is subsequently stitched in place around the exposed tooth root. The flap in the roof of the mouth is then stitched down.
Free Gingival Graft
Free gingival grafts are quite similar and use tissue from the roof of the mouth. However, instead of creating a flap, a small piece of tissue is removed directly from the roof of the mouth and is used to cover up the exposed tooth area being treated. This gum surgery procedure might be recommended if your gum tissue is already quite thin, as the graft can help build up the gums in this area.
Pedicle grafts are grafted from the gums near the affected tooth. A flap of tissue is partially cut away but remains attached at one edge. It is then pulled into position so it covers up the exposed tooth root and is firmly stitched in position. This procedure is only suitable for people who have plenty of available gum tissue near the exposed tooth.
Does Gum Grafting Hurt?
During the gum grafting surgery, your periodontist will make sure you receive plenty of local anesthetic to make the procedure painless, or if needed you can opt for sedation dentistry to help ensure you feel entirely comfortable.
Following a gum graft surgery, the amount of pain the patient will feel largely depends on the type of gum graft procedure that was performed. If no tissue had to be removed from your palate, you should feel little to no pain at all. However, if the tissue was removed from the roof of your mouth, you may feel slight discomfort for a few days.
Post-op Care after Gum Grafting
To keep gum graft pain to a minimum and to avoid any unnecessary complications,follow these simple instructions:
- To reduce bleeding, place gauze on either side of the grafted site, but not on top of it.
- Avoid physical activities for the first 24 hours after the procedure
- Keep your tongue away from the grafted site and don’t remove the dressing.
- Stay away from hot foods and drinks for a couple days, and stick to soft foods and liquids for the first week. As you return to a normal diet, be careful when chewing near the site.
- Don’t brush or rinse your mouth the day of the surgery.
- Be careful when brushing the grafted site for the first 30 days. Use soft bristled toothbrushes and use gentle movements.
Preserving Your Gum Health
To maintain your healthy results, dentists recommend brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day. Avoid using overly abrasive toothpastes and be sure to brush using the correct techniques. Most notably, you should gently brush in a circular motion rather than aggressively brushing side to side and up and down. Some patients may also benefit from the use of an electric toothbrush. dentists can answer any specific questions you may have regarding oral hygiene techniques and how to best maintain your oral health.
Gum graft surgery alternatives
Fortunately, there are several different options available for patients experiencing gum recession. One of the most common and traditional approaches to addressing this is a gum graft san rafael california. The gum graft procedure involves taking tissue from the palate (or using donor tissue) and placing it over the area that has been affected. Although this procedure is highly effective, it is also more invasive than other procedures and the recovery process is also more extensive.
If you need to treat gum recession but would prefer to avoid having a gum graft, you may want to consider the following alternatives.
Pinhole Surgical Technique
One of the more popular alternatives to having a traditional gum graft performed is a newer procedure called the Pinhole Surgical Technique. Much like orthoscopic/laparoscopic surgery, this minimally invasive procedure corrects gum recession by making a small hole in your gumline. Next, your periodontist uses special instruments to loosen your gums and move them back to the appropriate position. This procedure has gained popularity due to it being far less invasive than traditional gum grafting, which in turn makes the recovery time significantly faster.
Scaling And Root Planing
Scaling and Root Planing is a procedure that removes accumulated tartar on your teeth or below the gumline (scaling), or removes tartar below the root line (planing). If bacteria is left to settle, it eventually mineralizes, which increases your risk of developing periodontal disease. This can cause gums to begin receding. By removing this bacteria, your gums have a chance to heal.
Gums that have receded severely may cause bone to deteriorate underneath. Regeneration corrects this issue by peeling gum tissue back in order to place a bone graft. This procedure is not typically performed unless patients have severe periodontal disease.
Gum contouring is another option that may be done instead of or in addition to gum grafting. Gum grafting consists of reshaping your smile lines, which is done through the use of a laser and/or scalpel. Patients are typically given anesthesia prior to performing this procedure. Once the procedure is complete, the patient can enjoy a bright, new, aesthetically improved smile. This procedure also decreases the depths of the pockets, which make them easier to clean, thereby decreasing your risk of developing periodontal disease. This procedure is commonly performed in conjunction with a gum graft.
Which Treatment Option Is Right For Me?
Every patient has unique dental needs, so the best way you can decide which treatment options is right for you, beyond studying the pros and cons of each option, is to schedule an appointment with your periodontist to see which approach they believe will provide you with optimal results.
How Much Does a Gum Graft Cost?
Gum grafting surgery cost largely depends on the type of gum surgery needed and the extent of the gum recession.